Interview with Blog Expert, Kirk Vandenburg

kirk_vandenburg_siteIn this interview, my longtime friend and colleague, Kirk Vandenburg, candidly discusses “How to Build a Successful Blog for Writers.” This is very valuable advice on interacting with people online is useful not only for blogging, but also on Social Networks like Facebook or Twitter, or in online forums.

Even if you have not started a blog or website, this message is important in order to develop the right mindset before you move into building your own connections and networks online.

Over the last 8-9 years, Kirk Vandenburg and his partner, Sandy, built a profitable publishing network of 25 content websites and blogs.

In this podcast, Kirk shares his expertise on building and connecting with like-minded people through a blog–but in a fresh, common sense manner that doesn’t rely on pushy methods or endless search engine optimization (SEO) tactics.

Here are some highlighted points from Kirk’s chat:

  • Earn trust for your audience.
  • Be consistent, but not forceful.
  • Shine the spotlight on someone else.
  • Blogs are a conversation platform.
  • Your blog is an extension of your book.
  • Provide new information and put your best work out there.

The Goal of Interacting Online — For Real

Best of all, Kirk talks about interacting with people in order to communicate and develop a heartfelt connection with others who enjoy the same ideas and books–no sales talk or “broadcasting” message. And no link exchanges, self-promotion or ulterior motives. Aaaahhhhhh!

Kirk says about connecting through a blog and commenting on other blogs where you can meet new people in your niche:

How can I add value here? I really think about that. Not ‘How can I sound smart’ or ‘How can I one-up that person.’ It’s all about value; how can I contribute?….How can I lift this or shine the spotlight on someone?

When that’s done well, you build real relationships…and who knows what can happen from there?

Some Buzz Words

Some online marketing and blog buzz words you will hear in this conversation, include:

SEO – “Search Engine Optimization” is a method using website code and linking to increase a websites visibility in the search engines. In plain English, it’s a method to “get your website/blog pages to the top of Google when someone does a search in your niche.”

I talk about SEO optimization based on my own past experience as an SEO Optimizer in the eBook pricing course regarding “testing”:

RSS (feeds) – RSS is short for “Really Simple Syndication” and it is a special webpage and URL (web address) that contains a list of all the pages on your blog with a short snippet of the text. RSS feeds can used to add another blog’s pages to a website or blog automatically, or you can take an RSS feed and use it with a service to compile all the websites you want to read later in one place. Google Reader used to be a popular one before it shut down and Pulse is a more current example.

I wrote about using an RSS feed from your own blog to add blog post updates to your Amazon Author Page here:

Blog commenting – Blogs offer a space on most pages or posts at the bottom of the page to add comments as a way to interact with the blog writer or owner. Some blogs require a sign-up before you can write a comment, and others may require the blog owner to approve the comment before it is public.


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